Easiest to use disk cloning tool

The place for all kinds of software for all kinds of operating systems.

Moderator: Dposcorp

Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:27 am

So some members of my family chipped in to buy my sister-in-law a new 1TB hard drive for her desktop. Trouble is that she lives about 6 hours away.

She isn't technically inclined, so all of the software I can think of (GParted, Ghost, TrueImage, etc.) all seem like they'd be too difficult. It's going to be a very simple disk clone from the 250GB she owns to the new 1TB. Is there anything out there that works well for just this purpose? Free is preferred.
Ryhadar
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:51 pm

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:19 am

Xxclone is fairly straightforward. Yes, you might need to walk her through the options but in the free version there aren't that many since all you need to do is tell it what disk to clone, the destination, let it clone the disk, and then make it active. Less than ten clicks to do it all.
nanoflower
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 191
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 5:39 am

Macrium Reflect. Free for home use. Wizard based. Give that a try.
Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this
bull before.
LiamC
Gerbil
 
Posts: 19
Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2003 1:49 am
Location: AUS

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:17 am

The manufacturer of the new drive may have something available for download on their web site. These manufacturer-provided tools are often stripped down versions of a commercial product (e.g. Acronis).
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37852
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:35 am

Drive Image XML is also a handy tool for this.

I recently upgraded a system from a 250GB HD to a 1TB HD with this tool.

I was even able to run it while the system was on.

Simply install the new HD, Run the Drive Image XML tool (there are tutorials around the web) to copy the drive.

Remove the old drive and the system will boot to the new hard drive.
stratagem
Gerbil
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:38 pm

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:09 am

Another vote for Macrium Reflect. Although it's a little difficult to find the "clone" button for a drive (it's a small link above the drive partition display), it's free and has Just Worked every time I've used it.
i5-2500k @ 4.5ghz | ASUS P8Z68-V | nVidia GTX780 | 32gb DDR3| 2x SSDs 2x HDD | Antec Solo II | Dell U2713HM
Mentawl
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 449
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: UK

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 10:38 am

nanoflower wrote:Xxclone is fairly straightforward. Yes, you might need to walk her through the options but in the free version there aren't that many since all you need to do is tell it what disk to clone, the destination, let it clone the disk, and then make it active. Less than ten clicks to do it all.


yeah another vote for xxclone here. been using it forever and even though it visually it looks like it is stuck in the windows2000 era i don't care. it has never failed me.

the only thing you have to remember to do is make the new hdd bootable. you can do it before starting the clone or after. the button for "make bootable" is under the "cool tools" tab in the main program window.
ryko
Gerbil Team Leader
 
Posts: 235
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: new york

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:10 pm

Yes, like the others have said-you may use either the drive manufacturer's cloning utility or try the Macrium Reflect, which I personally prefer to use. They are all available as a free version and are easy to use.

If you are afraid that it would be too "technical" for your sister - just download the same utility and run it and guide her step-by-step over the phone or Skype.
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:41 pm

JohnC wrote:If you are afraid that it would be too "technical" for your sister - just download the same utility and run it and guide her step-by-step over the phone or Skype.

Sounds like a good plan to me.

(My own personal preference for disk cloning is to use a Linux live CD... but there's no way I'd want to walk a non-technical person though doing it that way! :lol:)
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37852
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:52 pm

Yea... With modern smartphones/tablets with at least one built-in camera and Skype compatibility it's pretty easy to visually guide people to do stuff. They just have to have a good light source and fairly steady hands :wink:
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1888
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 2:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:52 pm

Thanks guys, I'll take a look at the options. :)
Ryhadar
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 388
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:51 pm

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:23 am

Unless I'm missing something, why not leave her with BOTH HDDs?

Let her leave the OS on the 250GB, and format and make active the new 1TB.

To me, that sounds like the easiest solution so far.
PainIs4ThaWeak1
Gerbil
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:10 am

I love casper, but is not free. You also can automate it to schedule the copies.

http://www.fssdev.com/
joselillo_25
Gerbil
 
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Apr 29, 2005 2:57 am

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:54 am

PainIs4ThaWeak1 wrote:Unless I'm missing something, why not leave her with BOTH HDDs?

Let her leave the OS on the 250GB, and format and make active the new 1TB.

To me, that sounds like the easiest solution so far.


You've never dealt with an end-user who doesn't understand computers, have you? That kind of user will fill up the 250GB and ignore the terabyte.
Think for yourself, schmuck!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|1.5TB 7200.11|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45 & P880|Logitech MX 518|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3190
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:15 am

Why not have just her install something like Logmein (Rescue?) so you can do the cloning yourself?
Or if she's directly connected to the internet, maybe enabling remote desktop would work.
jihadjoe
Gerbil Team Leader
 
Posts: 260
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 11:34 am

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:41 pm

Easiest clone tool. No contest.

dd

dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/sdb1

You can feed it all manner of parameters but it's pretty smart, it will figure it out.

sda1 being the, I imagine whole disc partition, on the 250 and sdb1 being the whole disc partition on the 1g drive.
Fuji X-E1 Leica Elmar 135 4 XF60mm 2.4 Macro | Zeiss FE 35mm 2.8
http://carnagepro.com
"Everything ... they eat everything, and fear is their bacon bits."
PenGun
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 791
Joined: Fri Jun 18, 2004 1:48 pm
Location: BC Canada

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:22 pm

PenGun wrote:Easiest clone tool. No contest.

dd

dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/sdb1

You can feed it all manner of parameters but it's pretty smart, it will figure it out.

sda1 being the, I imagine whole disc partition, on the 250 and sdb1 being the whole disc partition on the 1g drive.

...and as I've already noted, that's my preferred method as well. But I don't particularly want to be responsible for walking a non-technical n00b through booting up a live CD, using dd, and resizing the partitions/filesystems over the phone. Not to mention the very real possibility of additional confusion (or outright disaster) which can result if /dev/sda and /dev/sdb get reversed, depending on how the drives are connected.
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37852
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:30 pm

PenGun wrote:Easiest clone tool. No contest.

dd

dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/sdb1

You can feed it all manner of parameters but it's pretty smart, it will figure it out.

sda1 being the, I imagine whole disc partition, on the 250 and sdb1 being the whole disc partition on the 1g drive.


:roll: Aside from dd being too simple-minded to tell the filesystem "hey, you've got 1TB now", so now you've got a 250GB partition on a 1TB drive.

If you're going to be so smugly superior with your l33t *nix skills, it'd be best if you had a clue first.
Think for yourself, schmuck!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|1.5TB 7200.11|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45 & P880|Logitech MX 518|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3190
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:30 pm

bthylafh wrote:
PainIs4ThaWeak1 wrote:Unless I'm missing something, why not leave her with BOTH HDDs?

Let her leave the OS on the 250GB, and format and make active the new 1TB.

To me, that sounds like the easiest solution so far.


You've never dealt with an end-user who doesn't understand computers, have you? That kind of user will fill up the 250GB and ignore the terabyte.


Actually, Good Sir, I do that everyday!

A sticky note, an E-mail, a desktop shortcut, or [betcha' won't believe this] word-of-mouth [*gasp!*] informing the user to use drive "D" instead of drive "C" to store their data actually turns this incredibly tricky feat into quite a simple one.

I'm fairly certain its possible to train a monkey to do that, using any of the above mentioned methods.
PainIs4ThaWeak1
Gerbil
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:04 pm

PainIs4ThaWeak1 wrote:I'm fairly certain its possible to train a monkey to do that, using any of the above mentioned methods.

You're clearly over-estimating the technical prowess of a non-trivial percentage of the computer-using (yet non-technical) population. Including, quite possibly, a majority of people from my generation (hint: I was in college when the original IBM PC debuted). The following examples (taken from real life) are sadly typical:

"I can't find the document I wrote last week."

"Well, do you have any idea where you might have saved it?"

"In Word! Where else would I have saved it?"

Or...

"They're telling me that the old network and all the old PCs are being taken out of service, and that I need to move all my important files to the new network. Can you help me with this?"

"Well, where are all of your files now?"

[blank stare]
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37852
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:09 pm

All too true for the people in my State office much older than me (and JBI only has a couple of years on me).
Life is hard; but it's harder if you're stupid. Big Al.
Captain Ned
Global Moderator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 20450
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:25 pm

Given that any software has the potential to screw things up in the wrong hands, It would seem that a Skype call to guide her through it makes the most sense.

If you want something more "skype-friendly" than these wizard-based tools, try Clonezilla - which is basically a GUI for dd and partclone. You can boot clonezilla live off a USB drive and clone the whole drive with plenty of "are you sure?" y/n-style questions that she can read out to you before you confirm stuff. Using the absolute default disk-clone options it's then just a case of booting into Windows >> disk management >> extend partition (two minutes if you still have her on the phone).
<insert large, flashing, epileptic-fit-inducing signature (based on the latest internet-meme) here>
Chrispy_
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1966
Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 3:49 pm

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:35 pm

In fairness to people who cram everything onto the small drive, Windows has always made it a monstrous pain in the ass to work with multiple logical disks.
NovusBogus
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:37 am

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:43 pm

NovusBogus wrote:Windows has always made it a monstrous pain in the ass to work with multiple logical disks.
I promise that I'm not trolling, but the one thing with OS X that I actually liked was being able to uninstall by dragging an app to the trash.

Back on topic, I've moved to using smaller SSD system drives (around 256GB for Windoze, 128GB or less for Linux),and regularly take system image backups to big/fat/slow secondary drives. When possible, things get installed to secondary drives too. These days, tossing around (i.e., taking full backups or making image copies) 1TB is still too cumbersome and takes too long. But you can't beat just making a copy of a whole Virtual Machine's disk image file and moving it to another machine if/when needed.

Edit: Pet peeve to vs too.
Last edited by MarkG509 on Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
MarkG509
Gerbil First Class
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:51 pm

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:32 pm

bthylafh wrote:
PenGun wrote:Easiest clone tool. No contest.

dd

dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/dev/sdb1

You can feed it all manner of parameters but it's pretty smart, it will figure it out.

sda1 being the, I imagine whole disc partition, on the 250 and sdb1 being the whole disc partition on the 1g drive.


:roll: Aside from dd being too simple-minded to tell the filesystem "hey, you've got 1TB now", so now you've got a 250GB partition on a 1TB drive.

If you're going to be so smugly superior with your l33t *nix skills, it'd be best if you had a clue first.


If the OS is Vista, or above, it's trivial to expand the partition. In disk management, right click on the partition and select expand, so dd is a good tool in this case.

If the OP could get them to setup a reverse ssh tunnel, the OP could do the work remotely.
Flatland_Spider
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 853
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:33 pm
Location: The 918/539

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:46 am

just brew it! wrote:
PainIs4ThaWeak1 wrote:I'm fairly certain its possible to train a monkey to do that, using any of the above mentioned methods.

You're clearly over-estimating the technical prowess of a non-trivial percentage of the computer-using (yet non-technical) population. Including, quite possibly, a majority of people from my generation (hint: I was in college when the original IBM PC debuted). The following examples (taken from real life) are sadly typical:

"I can't find the document I wrote last week."

"Well, do you have any idea where you might have saved it?"

"In Word! Where else would I have saved it?"

Or...

"They're telling me that the old network and all the old PCs are being taken out of service, and that I need to move all my important files to the new network. Can you help me with this?"

"Well, where are all of your files now?"

[blank stare]


I still don't believe, nor do I believe that you honestly believe, (though hard to quantify AND justify) that even people like the ones you mention would experience the huge learning curve that you imply by learning the difference between two drive letters.

In my opinion, the task of explaining to someone how to: "create an image, replace a hard drive, restore an image" would be less than, or equal to, its difficulty (depending on the individual.)

I know I personally couldn't explain that to someone like my 55 year old mother, though she could easily grasp the difference between letters "C" and "D".
PainIs4ThaWeak1
Gerbil
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:13 am

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:25 am

PainIs4ThaWeak1 wrote:I know I personally couldn't explain that to someone like my 55 year old mother, though she could easily grasp the difference between letters "C" and "D".

...thereby giving her twice as many places where she can "lose" files? :wink:
(this space intentionally left blank)
just brew it!
Administrator
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 37852
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:43 am

PainIs4ThaWeak1 wrote:A sticky note, an E-mail, a desktop shortcut, or [betcha' won't believe this] word-of-mouth [*gasp!*] informing the user to use drive "D" instead of drive "C" to store their data actually turns this incredibly tricky feat into quite a simple one.

I'm fairly certain its possible to train a monkey to do that, using any of the above mentioned methods.


Windows Vista and above has the ability to create a dynamic volume which spans multiple drives, and it can do so on the fly. A C: could be expanded to included whatever disks are added later.

Since, at least, XP, Windows has been able to use folders as mount points for drives. This is something that needs to be changed in disk management, and it's really only useful for bulk data. It's not as flexible as the *ix mount system.
Last edited by Flatland_Spider on Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Flatland_Spider
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 853
Joined: Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:33 pm
Location: The 918/539

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:09 am

Fix your attributions. I didn't say that.
Think for yourself, schmuck!
i5-2500K@4.3|Asus P8P67-LE|8GB DDR3-1600|Powercolor R7850 2G|1.5TB 7200.11|1988 Model M|Saitek X-45 & P880|Logitech MX 518|Dell 2209WA|Sennheiser PC151|Asus Xonar DX
bthylafh
Grand Gerbil Poohbah
 
Posts: 3190
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: Easiest to use disk cloning tool

Postposted on Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:02 pm

just brew it! wrote:...thereby giving her twice as many places where she can "lose" files? :wink:


Now you're just playing Devil's Advocate. So I give up. Would hate to ruffle the far superior gerbil fur.
PainIs4ThaWeak1
Gerbil
 
Posts: 50
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 11:13 am

Next

Return to General Software

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests